Web 2 point... well you know

2008-01-08 2-minute read

We’re at the Allied Media Conference - day 1! Stay tuned for more blogs about what I’m seeing.

This is the first session on day one present by Geoff Hing. Despite the name of the session (ug - jargon hell!) - it was an interesting workshop. A few thoughts:

  • Tags as non-hierarchical approach to information organizing. I’ve never really considered the political implications of free tagging versus hierarchical categorizing. It really pushes the power of creating meaning toward the users rather than the administrators. In the worst scenarios it means everyone is an independent agent defining their own reality - the worst aspect of liberalism. On the other hand - that’s where organizing comes in - to organize our own meaning (in this context that means collaboratively defining tags).

  • Use of device independent communication. Geoff’s response to to the often stated problem “but not everyone has access to the Internet” is: then use other ways of communicating, such as cell phones (twitter) or even landlines (jot) to bridge the gap.

  • Use of API (application programmer interface) as means of decentralization.

It was a real relief to go to a Web 2.0 presentation that analyzed the concepts from a political perspective.

The political discussion and conclusions, however, are the same ones we’ve been going over and over: how do we use the Internet when not everyone has access to it or when it’s too difficult for some people. I don’t want to detract from this problem - it’s a real one. On the other hand - I think we tend to address it too blindly in ways that lead to bad political decisions, such as using corporate services because they’re “easy” and “more accessible.” I think political work is struggle - and yes, we do need to struggle with this technology.